Cara-Friend – Northern Ireland’s oldest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community support organisation – has launched a number of new school and youth service materials and resources in Irish and Ulster Scots.
The organisation provides LGBTQ+ youth services and works in schools across Northern Ireland. It offers LGBTQ+ awareness teacher training, anti-homophobic bullying workshops to students, professional guidance for school staff and one-to-one support to LGBTQ+ young people.
Explaining the thinking behind having existing English language materials translated into Irish and Ulster Scots, Steve Williamson, director of Cara-Friend, said: “As a cross-community organisation we are very aware of the multiple identities of our services users. It’s important to reach individuals and communities where they are and in ways which they find accessible.”
Copies of the new materials in Irish and Ulster Scots, created in partnership with Colaiste Feirste and The Reach Project, are available for free download from the resources section of Cara-Friend’s website – www.cara-friend.org.uk
Hard copies can be requested from the organisation’s office in Belfast.
“It may be a first for the LGBTQ+ community here to be working simultaneously with an Irish language school and a PUL grassroots organisation. But if a voluntary and community organisation like Cara-Friend can overcome language hurdles then I’m surprised it has been such a controversial and difficult issue for some of our political parties at Stormont,” Mr Williamson added.
Resources and materials written in Polish are due to be launched by the organisation later this year.